Elneny’s Egypt close in on AFCON knockout stages

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Mohamed Elneny’s Egypt face Ghana on Wednesday knowing a draw will be good enough to seal safe passage to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations in Gabon.

The Pharoahs, coached by Hector Cuper, haven’t looked particularly convincing so far in Group D. They drew their opening game with Mali 0-0 and required an 89th-minute strike by substitute Abdallah El Said to overcome Uganda on Saturday.

If Egypt beat Ghana they will progress as group winners setting up a clash with whoever is second in Group C on Sunday night; likely to be either Congo, Morocco or Ivory Coast. A draw will pit them against the first-place side.

The final of the AFCON 2017 is on Sunday 5 February.

From an Arsenal point of view, the sooner Egypt get knocked out the better. We could do with Elneny’s calm head as an option in the centre of the park now that Granit Xhaka has a four-game ban for his red card against Burnley.

 

27 COMMENTS

  1. I love Egypt, Egypt is beautiful.
    I also like the food , the people , the colors..

    Infact I also have two egyptian friends.. more like acquaintance.. lovely people
    I have never asked you amazing people anything..I will never do again
    Can you please screw up your qualification and send Elneny back..

    PLEASE!!!!!!!PLEASE!!!I AM BEGGINF YOU ….PLEASE!!!

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    • Egypt is like the African Italy. Tactically brilliant and very efficient. Their players rarely leave for another league and can play until they’re 40. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the competition.

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      • Hope they don’t cause it is like Stoke winning the FA Cup. Senegal or Ghana are the two teams that deserve to win.

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        • Nope Egypt have been the powerhouses for a while 3 titles in a row. Then the Arab spring happened, they only coming back now and I think they might not win this afcon but definitely are going back to the top in future

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          • You’re right but I was referring to the playing style at this AFCON. Senegal is playing an attractive game.

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  2. We cud seriously do with him!
    BTW I posted last nite (emotionally) that Moss wasn’t a total fuck face and Xhaka was asking for trouble with the challenge he made.
    Now I’ll admit I’m a sad bastard and I did a re run of the game later…….. All I can say is there’s a litany of poor refereeing right thro the game. Some of the un punished or non cautioned challenges are just a joke.
    Shambolic .

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  3. As a Ugandan, I really hoped we could overcome Egypt and I’d have the double luck of progressing and returning Elneny to Arsenal at this time of need. But alas it was not to be. *Sigh*

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  4. I have faithfully read this blog every single day for close to ten years now. And today is the first time that the great footballing nation of Uganda is mentioned in a post. Too bad we didn’t manage to send Elneny back home.

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  5. Hector cuper! Just last week I wondered what had happened to him. His Valencia team was bloody good. I miss those days when football was a great sport with great players all around.

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    • His Mallorca side were fantastic too, but taking taking Valencia to two Champions League finals in a row, especially in the days of the double group stage, was phenomenal. Remember those second groups were brutal.

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  6. In as much as I want Elneny to and Egypt to go far and maybe win the cup, I will turn my alter ego on and hope the crash out so that he comes back to London soon. we are too light in midfield as is with Xhaka’s latest red.

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    • No. Jack stays until the end of the season. We have Ram-coq now with the option of the Ox playing there. So no need to panic. Besides, I’ve seen him play for Bournemouth and he hasn’t been that great.

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      • our options are getting stretched. santi and elneny is not anymore an option we have. xhaka can no longer play for the next four matches.ramsey-coq has to play for next four matches including a very importatant midweek fa cup with southamton. dont know if we should play ramsey in that game .with ramseys dodgy injury record we are treading on thin line here.

        the best possible outcome would be ramsey and coq remain injury free till xhaka comes back and ramsey is given rest for a game or two.

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        • FA Cup game is next weekend, not midweek, although we have Watford on Tuesday the following week.

          But anyway one midweek game over the space of four weeks is very manageable..

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      • Ram-Coq is OK, but we lose that key long ball out wide from the deep midfield which often brings Alexis into play. Also, if we have another midfield injury (Ramsey?), or suspension (Coquelin?) we are in real trouble. Relying on Ox to cover defensive mid is asking for trouble.

        If there is any quality out there, I think we should consider buying.

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      • Jack not very good for Bournemouth? Are you smegging serious? He’s been their player of the month three times already this season! He’s having a fantastic loan spell.

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      • I don’t know why people dread the idea of the Ox in CM so much, he actually offers the closest thing in the centre to Cazorla or Wilshere, he can dribble, strong, good work ethic, and one thing he’s got that no other of our CM’s have is an ability to make up ground on people who have a head start on him. No one was complaining when he had a stint in the middle when we won 3-0 vs AC Milan, or he scored two very good goals vs Crystal Palace at Home when we were struggling to break through. As well as my memory serves me that’s the only few times he’s really played there? Either way, I’d be happy for him to play there.

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  7. Obviously the more back the merrier, but I was pleased with Ramsey’s performance yesterday. I’ve given him stick for the last few seasons (not as bad as some people do) but if he can replicate yesterdays performance weekly then I’ll be pleased. Just needs to remember to keep it simple 9 times out of 10, nothing wrong with an expansive pass. His best attribute which we need, is his engine to get around the pitch for 90 mins.. Combined with an eye for goal and inventive passing I think he can be a great asses. Not sure about how him and Coquelin will work though with Xhaka suspended but lets stay positive, we’ll have plenty of energy and aggression with those two at least.

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    • i’ve been saying this so many times in this blog. ramsey is one of our most dynamic midfielder . the kind of goal threat he offers from midfield is unparelleled in our team. together with xhakas passing range the ramsey-xhaka partnership is our future. it may not work at first but arsene is righlty being patient with ramsey .

      fans are unfairly blaming ramsey. before this season he used to be injured all the time and needed game time to get back to his best. and even if he afforeded one he rarely gets to play in his favoured centre midfield position , always playing him in the wings. only time he got to play in centre midfield last season he was without coqueline and had to play with suicidal flaminy and everyone blamed him for arsenal not winning games.

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      • Ramsey has lots of great features but he lacks the positional discipline to play a role with defensive duties and apart from that 6 month purple patch he is an awful finisher who wastes many great chances. Because we have Ozil there is no spot Ramsey should be #1 starter for Arsenal even though he is an excellent player.

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    • The biggest gap in his game is decision makig and an honest self assessment of his skillset he has a great engine, dynamism and a natural tendency to react to tight situations with a piece of brilliant technique but too many times he becomes over ambitious. If Ramsey keeps it simple and plays to his strengths he is not far from being the best box to box midfielder in the PL.

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    • I think Ramsey and Coq can do the job. We will miss Xhaka more against teams that we dominate in possession. Ramsey and Coq could be a good fit against chelsea where we will probably try to hit them on the counter as they both have the legs to run up and down the pitch for 90 minutes. Coq will also probably be reverted back to his defensive midfield role as Ramsey will play box-to-box. This suits the coq more than the all round role he has with Xhaka that I don’t think works that well for him. More worried about the fact that AML ot Ox is the next option if one of these two will miss a match.

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  8. The way many of the teams play we don’t need two defensive minded midfielders. We can stick the Ox in there to reserve Ramsey and Coq. But regarding Egypt, they are not the footballing giant of Africa they once were. They will crash out soon. In time for Chelsea certainly

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